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ChangeNOW: BNP Paribas at the heart of a global event dedicated to the sustainable world of tomorrow

From May 27th to 29th, ChangeNOW took place entirely online, representing an exceptional meeting of decision makers, experts, activists, innovators and major global economic players. More than 500 speakers discussed ideas, objectives and ways forward to build a promising, habitable and sustainable world together. As a partner of the event, BNP Paribas contributed its expertise to the topics up for discussion. We take a look at ChangeNOW and its forward-looking coalition.

Pooling resources and knowledge

One of the convictions of the BNP Paribas Group is to envision the innovative projects and solutions that will support the social and ecological transition that the world needs, a movement that must be achieved collectively. Preserving the planet is work that will be carried out in ecosystems, through the integration of all actors and stakeholders in the economy, politics and society.

It was this same vision that brought the ChangeNOW(Opens in a new tab) event to life with 500 speakers, 1,000 solutions addressed, 250 hours of exclusive and accessible content, conferences, stands, film screenings and networking sessions on 15 major themes that each represented a global issue. Among them, BNP Paribas spoke about sustainable finance, biodiversity, equal opportunities, social entrepreneurship and the UN-based HeforShe movement.

BNP Paribas, three strong messages

The ‘sustainable’ revolution is as important as the ‘digital’ revolution 

Antoine Sire, Head of Company Engagement, BNP Paribas, took part in the exceptional round table “Sustainable Finance: Changing the rules alongside Sir Ronald Cohen (Chairman of the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group), Olivia Grégoire (Secretary of State for the Social, Solidarity and Responsible Economy) and Marie Ekeland (founder of the Sustainable Investment Fund 2050). The round table took the opportunity to define the contours and principles behind furthering sustainable finance. According to Antoine Sire, the role that a group like BNP Paribas must play is “to support the transition of economic players. This responsibility also involves the products we offer. When it comes to investment and savings, for example, risk, financial performance and liquidity - all three criteria - now have a fourth dimension: environmental and social performance. It is not just a fashion or a trend, but a reality to count on.”

Biodiversity: Assessing the threat to take appropriate action 

Laurence Pessez, Global Head of CSR at BNP Paribas, spoke on this topic at the “Biodiversity Conservation” roundtable, alongside Francisco Bellino (Partner at BCG) and Pavan Sukhdev (Chairman of WWF International). Laurence Pessez highlighted the need to measure the impact of economic activities on natural systems: “The loss of biodiversity is not yet sufficiently linked to economic activities, in contrast to the climate. The effects on the climate are measured, but those on biodiversity remain unclear. Yet most sectors rely heavily on healthy natural ecosystems. We need to move in the direction of measuring these impacts to help raise awareness.”

Equal opportunities: The bank must play its role as an accelerator to a more inclusive economy

Raphaèle Leroy, Head of Company Engagement for the French Retail Banking network, detailed the Group's positions and actions on the issue of inclusion and equal opportunities. Social issues are another major part of the transition, alongside the environment. In France, the goal is to give everyone, especially young people, a chance. “Banking has a role to play as an accelerator towards a more inclusive economy. This is one of the facets of sustainable finance, through the issuance of social bonds, the financing of social entrepreneurship, and our Act for Impact programme.

An active presence throughout the event with ten digital stands

As a major partner of ChangeNOW, BNP Paribas has multiplied its presence. The Group has distinguished itself through ten digital stands. These showcases for innovative solutions were supported by several Group entities and divisions (BDDF, IFS, CIB, the Foundation and Company Engagement). These stands dedicated to innovations in the sectors of inclusion, biodiversity, sustainable finance and societal adaptations will remain online four months to give them as much visibility as possible. These additional topics were also discussed live by Maha Keramane, Head of Social Entrepreneurship and Microfinance Europe (ESG panel) as well as by Jean Laurent Bonnafé (Director and CEO of BNP Paribas) and Antoine Sire at the closing ceremony HeForShe dedicated to the emancipation of women, organised by UN Women.

Lastly, the Group has positioned itself on the ‘Inclusion and Education’ theme, specifically through the initiatives of its partner associations in France that had their own stand: Article 1 - Choice of School, 3PA - Well Being Schools and Bocage Workshops. Other partnerships highlighted throughought ChangeNOW included Adie, La France se Engage, L'Ascenseur et Les Déterminés.(Opens in a new tab)

Registration is free and open until September 2021.

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